On November 8, voters in Massachusetts approved Question 4 legalizing recreational marijuana use and regulating it similarly to alcoholic beverages. Implementation of the new scheme is happening in two phases.
Beginning December 15, 2016, it became legal for an adult (defined as 21 or older) to possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana in one’s primary residence or up to 1 ounce outside the home (but not to consume it in public). An adult may also grow up to 6 plants for personal use and up to 12 total plants per household if more than one adult resides there. Adults may also purchase and possess “equipment, products, and devices of any kind that are intended or designed for use in growing, storing, processing, ingesting, and inhaling marijuana.” It also became legal for an adult to give another adult up to one ounce of marijuana, but not in exchange for money.
Buying and selling marijuana, only allowed with a retail license, had originally been scheduled to become legal in January 2018. Yesterday, however, the legislature, represented by about seven state legislators in an informal session, postponed implementation of that aspect of the legalization process until the summer of 2018 at the earliest.
The postponement of that aspect of the legalization process prolongs what some are calling a legal gray zone – where it is legal to possess but not purchase or sell marijuana.